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EU approves EUR323 million for power grid synchronisation project [free access]

January 23, 2019

The European Union’s (EU) Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) has allocated EUR323 million to finance the first stage of the synchronisation of the Baltic power grids with the continental European electricity system. According to an application submitted in October 2018, by the Baltic transmission system operators (TSOs) of Estonia’s Elering, Latvia’s Augstsprieguma Tikls (AST) and Lithuania’s Litgrid to the European Commission (EC), the total cost of the project is estimated at EUR432.5 million, 74.6 per cent of which will be covered by the EU.

 

As reported, the Lithuanian and Estonian TSOs have been provided with a funding of EUR125 million and EUR141 million respectively, which will cover almost 75 per cent of the planned investments of EUR167.05 million and EUR188 million respectively. On the other end, the Latvian TSO has been provided with EUR57.75 million, which covers approximately 75 per cent of the planned infrastructure cost of EUR77 million. However, the remaining portion of costs not covered by the support will be financed individually by the respective TSOs.

 

The Baltic nations have made a political decision to disconnect from the BRELL—a Soviet-designed energy ring linking Belarus, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as disconnection from this grid would help synchronise its operation with the European network, thereby reducing its reliance on the Russian infrastructure. In October 2018, the three Baltic TSOs submitted a joint application for the first-stage funding of EUR432 million, corresponding with the synchronisation of the Baltic power grids with the continental European system, under the EU’s CEF.

 

The total cost of the project is estimated at EUR1.4 billion and the grid synchronisation is planned to be completed by 2025.

 

 (EUR1=USD1.13)